(Silva and Slaughter 1980) Prometheus bound


Silva, Edward T.; Slaughter, Sheila. Prometheus bound: the limits of social science professionalization in the Progressive period. Theory and Society. 1980 Nov; 9(6):781–819.

Silva and Slaughter document the inadequacies of the professionalization model of the social sciences in the 1900–1917 period in the USA. According to this model, these disciplines received access to resources needed for their research, as well as autonomy from outside interference and recognition of their authoritative character, in exchange for a professional dedication to disinterested search for the truth; this bargain was formalized in the concept of academic freedom promulgated by the AAUP. Silva and Slaughter instead show that a particular, sociologically distinct faction, the new corporate liberals, came to dominate academic social science through their alliance with national-level monopoly capital, which exerted relatively strong control over the acceptable boundaries of academic discourse in exchange for access to resources. Rather than providing autonomy, the working arrangement with monopoly capital and the consequent professionalization of the social sciences led to a greater degree of corporate control than was seen in the other major two factions: traditionalists who were not usually full-time professional academics, and radicals who were allied with labor and other popular interests in conflict with capital.

 

 

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